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Anas Sarwar joins Nicola Sturgeon to condemn ‘far-right fascism’ as ex-Britain First deputy gets just 46 votes

Anas Sarwar gave the suspended Aberdeen Nine "encouraging" support on a campaign visit to the city's Victoria Park
Anas Sarwar. (Library image).

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has joined Nicola Sturgeon in condemning ‘far-right fascism’ in Scotland.

Mr Sarwar, who lost to Ms Sturgeon in the Glasgow Southside constituency vote, poured scorn on Jayda Fransen, who received just 46 votes.

Ms Fransen, who stood as an independent, had confronted the SNP leader in the street on Thursday.

Discussing the far-right movement, Mr Sarwar said today: “You can see the reaction they got in this hall today. I think you can see the reaction and response they got from the good people in Glasgow Southside.

“Every single time the far-right hate has tried to come to Glasgow Southside, we as a community have united against them and rejected them.

‘United against fascists’

“Nicola Sturgeon and I might have many differences and differences of opinion politically, but when it comes to fighting the far-right, when it comes to fighting bigotry, hatred and intolerance in all its forms, we, and indeed large parts of Scotland, are united against the fascists.”

Ms Fransen, who has convictions for religiously aggravated harassment, said to Ms Sturgeon in footage posted online yesterday: “What are you sorry for? Mass immigration, Marxism?

“I’m not a fascist. I’ve been on the ground speaking to locals who say you are an absolute disgrace.

“The decent people of Scotland don’t want it flooded with immigrants.”

Ms Sturgeon responded on Thursday: “You are a fascist, you are a racist and the southside of Glasgow will reject you.”

Majority ‘a long shot’

Reflecting on the results so far, the SNP leader claimed today a majority for her party was “always a long shot” despite a winning start and a major election gain in key Holyrood constituencies.

The First Minister is heading for a fourth electoral victory, easily winning her Glasgow Southside seat, but the final make-up of the Scottish Parliament is still a long way from becoming clear.

Among the first declarations was a tight contest in Banffshire and Buchan Coast where an 11-point jump for the Tories was not enough to cause a major upset for the SNP.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney comfortably held on to his Perthshire North seat with almost no movement towards the Conservative rival, Murdo Fraser.

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